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[Axiom-developer] RE: plone

From: Page, Bill
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: plone
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 11:30:45 -0400


On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 7:50 AM you wrote:
> I'll probably need some time to bring me up-to-date.

If you have questions about Plone, ZWiki or Zope, please feel
free to ask. I will try to help.
> As I have learned by now, there are several different programs
> that implement a wiki concept (Zwiki, Twiki, MediaWiki, ...
> ). Was there any good reason to choose Zwiki for Axiom?

In retrospect I think there was no especially good reason to
choose ZWiki/LatexWiki - only the timing and a matter of
convenience. Plus it turned out that the maintainer of the LaTeX
extension for ZWiki (Bob McElrath) happened also to be interested
in Axiom. :-)

It is amusing to me that ZWiki is not shown in this comparison.
At the time (almost three years ago) there were very few other
wiki's that included support for LaTeX. On another project I
had already had some experience with Plone and Zope. ZWiki is
written in Python using Zope as the web application server and
object-oriented database. I consider this a "higher-level"
application development environment compared to some other
scripting languages and choice of database or file system. But
this is large a subject matter of "taste".
> The reason, I am asking is that we currently run Twiki at RISC,
> but I am not so convinced whether it is better/worse than Zwiki
> or MediaWiki. (It's a pain to learn just another wiki syntax...)

I have looked at Twiki, and used both MediaWiki and Moinmoin. I
think all three of these now have optional LaTeX support.

And they all could probably quite easily be adapted to interface
with Axiom and other computer algebra packages the way that
ZWiki/MathAction does now.

MediaWiki is famous because it is the software that runs Wikipedia.
The Sage project is using Moinmoin possibly because it is written
in Python which is also the implementation language for Sage. But
Moinmoin does not use Zope so it is simpler in that respect.

The "wiki syntax" in all of these systems was originally intended
to be very simple to use so as not to represent any barrier for
new users, but this goal has in most cases been abandoned because
it turns out that people do care about the format. Most of these
systems have some form of "WYSIWYG page editing" which is supposed
to be easy for new users to create nicely formatted pages. Moinmoin
in particular has a very nice editor.  ZWiki has this as an option
but I have turned it off because unfortunately it does not work
properly with the LatexWiki embedded LaTeX commands.

Actually I am rather surprised by the relatively slow rate of
adoption of the wiki concept but on the other hand, after three
years of watching closely it is clear to me that it is very
gradually growing in popularity - not declining.

Bill Page.

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